Nothing for us Without Us !!

StreetNet International Coordinator, Pat Horn addressing those present on the ILO Decent work project. Ubumbano Organiser, Mr Shozi, was assisting with translations

Informal workers from the sectors of street vendors, home-based workers, taxi workers, fishermen and waste pickers, attended a mass meeting at the Gandhi Luthuli Hall at the Denis Hurley Centre in Durban on 19 August 2015, to discuss the lack of progress in an ILO Project on Decent Work in eThekwini Municipality, involving all 5 sectors, and to look at a way forward with regard to the EMIEF (eThekwini Municipality Informal Economy Forum) and how to transform this into a democratic and representative negotiating forum in eThekwini.

The meeting agreed with the following recommendations by Limpho Mandoro, ILO Social Dialogue Specialist, in his draft report on the consultations on strengthening of social dialogue mechanisms on the informal economy in the eThekwini Municipality:

  1. The EMIEF needs to be restructured after full participation of street vendors and informal traders in discussions with regard to the structure they propose;
  2. New elections need to be held for the representatives of EMIEF, overseen by ILO.

Desmond Desai from South Durban Community Environmental Alliance, addressing the panel of representatives from the Fisherman, Taxi Association, waste pickers, home-based workers. Fisherman, Informal traders and StreetNet

The new structure needs to include representation from all the abovementioned five sectors of workers in the informal economy, and election of their representatives needs to be done by sector. From the side of the municipality, all the relevant units/departments directly interfacing with the different work sectors in the informal economy need to be part of EMIEF - i.e. not only BSU, but also ETA, Parks & Recreation, etc.

Terms of Reference of the new structure or EMIEF should be revised, not as a unilateral draft by municipal officials, but should be negotiated and agreed by all parties.

Pictured are some of the interested parties who attended

The mass meeting agreed that the new restructured EMIEF should become an important vehicle for regular proper negotiations between workers in the informal economy and the eThekwini municipality in the future, to tackle the many unresolved problems confronting informal workers on a daily basis in their work.

This declaration is now being forwarded to the political leadership of the eThekwini municipality as well as municipal officials in the relevant department and the Pretoria office of the ILO.

Like us
Follow us on Twitter

World Class Cities for All - Brazil (Portuguese Blog)

There is also a portuguese version of the Blog where one can access personal updates on news and events. It can be found on this link:

StreetNet NewsBox


INDIA. DP is irreparable, scrap it, say activists. Times of India (10 April 2015).

TANZANIA. College plans to identify trade opportunities for hawkers. Daily News (10 April 2015)  by Ludovick Kazoka.

INDIA. No street vendors, cycle rickshaws in Lajpat Nagar market: NGT. Zee News (8 April 2015) by PTI. New Delhi:

BOTSWANA. EDD is the way to go. Mmegi Online (8 April 2015).

USA. Five Courses: Hawkers' street food flair & more. Creative Loafing Tampa Bay (8 April 2015) by Meaghan Habuda.

INDIA. Hawkers may be allowed near Rishi Kapoor, Anil Ambani's Pali Hill residences. DNA India (8 April 2015) by Amrita Nayak Dutta.

ABU-DHABI. Abu Dhabi Municipality raid scares away street hawkers. Gulf News (7 April 2015).

SINGAPORE. Hawker centres to be spruced up with murals and art installations. Channel News Asia (5 April 2015) by Vimita Mohandas.

MALAYSIA. 'Development will be inclusive'. The Star Online (3 April 2015).

INDIA. 'Street vendors denied right to livelihood'. The Hindu (1 April 2015) by K.N. Umesh.

SOUTH AFRICA. South Africa: Xenophobic Violence in KZN - 'This Is a Black Easter for Foreigners'.

SINGAPORE. Singapore street food: stewed, sliced and steamed - video.

USA. Street vendors press city to legalize their trade.

StreetNet International

StreetNet International is an alliance of street vendors. It was launched in Durban, South Africa, in November 2002.

Membership-based organizations (unions, co-operatives or associations) directly organizing street vendors, market vendors and/or hawkers among their members, are entitled to affiliate to StreetNet International.

The aim of StreetNet is to promote the exchange of information and ideas on critical issues facing street vendors, market vendors and hawkers (i.e. mobile vendors) and on practical organizing and advocacy strategies